The parallel 17-member Edo State House of Assembly led by Victor Tiger Edoror, has condemned the clearance by the Francis Okiye-led minority House, a list of commissioner nominees sent to it by the governor, Godwin Obaseki. At its sitting on Wednesday, the Edoror-led faction of the polarized legislature, described the action of the state government as “executive rascality”. The governor had forwarded a list of five commissioner nominees to the faction of the House loyal to him for confirmation to fill vacant positions in the state cabinet and in the Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOGPADEC). Only seven out of the 24-member House are on the side of the governor.
At its sitting at an unknown venue, the majority members faulted the clearance, insisting that the seven members did not form a quorum and so, the clearance was unconstitutional
Raising a matter of urgent public importance, the member representing Uhunmwonde constituency, Washington Osifo said “the unconstitutional clearance of civil Commissioners nominated by the governor to fill the vacancies in EDSOGPADEC were screened and approved by a contraption made up of seven out of 24 members of the Edo State House of Assembly. One of the responsibilities of the parliament, tandem with the dictate of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is to act as a check on the executive. Such screening and clearance must be declared null and void by the parliament as they didn’t form a quorum to do so. This House must condemn such act in all its entirety since in the face of the law, those Commissioners never appeared before any constitutionally recognised Parliament for clearance”.
Other members including the deputy speaker and the member representing Akoko-Edo II constituency, Emmanuel Agbaje, the member representing Owan West, Ohio Ezomo, the member representing Ohriomwon I, Nosayaba Okunbor, the member representing Oredo West, Chris Okaeben, his Oredo East Constituency counterpart, Ekhosuehi Uyiosasere, Etsako East, Ugabi Kingsley, Vincent Uwadiae of Ovia North East, all condemned what they called the ‘executive rascality’ of Edo state government, which they say must not be allowed to continue.
However in his reaction, the factional Speaker dismissed their position. Okiye said “They said we do not exist, so why did they recognise our position when we removed the Deputy Speaker? Are they not aware that there is a court order today (Wednesday) that ordered that they should be arrested and investigated for treasonable felony, forgery and impersonation and we have resolved in our sitting that they should be investigated for treasonable felony, forgery and impersonation? I have said repeatedly that they do not exist and they should work to respond to the order of the court and explain themselves to security agencies”.